It was 9:30 at night, give or take a few minutes, and I was sitting there reading to my 2 year old. Daniel loves to read, or at least look at the pictures. My phone rang, and it was a number I didn’t recognize. I typically wouldn’t answer it, but for some reason I did. To my surprise it was someone I knew. She mentioned she was at the ball field and one of the church league softball players had just had some teeth knocked out, did I have any recommendations. Her demeanor was calm, but obviously the situation was not. My wife Allison could tell by the look on my face… the evening was not coming to an end just yet. With the boys in their pajamas, we headed off to the office.
While it wasn’t funny then, hindsight is a little more amusing. Unfortunately our patient found out first hand that a softball isn’t really that soft. Despite being down 17 to 4, with three minutes left to play, and really no hopes of bragging rights for that night, play continued until the bloody end, literally. 5 teeth were involved in that last hit. 2 front teeth, one knocked backwards, one broken at the gum line, and 3 bottom teeth were fractured in the jaw. After 1.5 hours, we had the teeth back in proper position and wired together to allow the jaw to heal.
The moral of the story is, WEAR A MOUTHGUARD. A mouthguard should be form fitted, not just covering the biting surface of the teeth, but extending deep below the lip to protect the roots of the teeth. I realize people are concerned about a chipped tooth from the way they look, but that can be fixed. A fractured root leads to a hopeless and extracted tooth. Much like you never expect to be in a car accident, most people never expect to have a sports injury. The slogan is “play hard”, perhaps we should add “play safe”.